Convenience store is one of the coolest things Japan has. It is definitely a place you should check out if you are visiting. But it is mostly forgotten because there are just too many popular places to visit, eat and shop when you search on TripAdvisor, for example. Even for Japanese people, if they are asked for their recommendation, it won’t be the first thing, or even one of the top 10, they would mention because they take it for granted and think there is nothing special. But it is not just like a small kind of supermarket. It has very unique functions people have developed in the past almost half century since we had the first shop opened around 1970. They are open for 24 hours a day 7 days a week, people pay for concert tickets, use ATM, receive goods they purchased on the internet, print out documents and photos…. Last but not least, the wide range of items is also something they are proud of.
Anyways they have everything you need so it is convenient as called so, but I would like to introduce some items you should buy before you leave Japan and bring home.
They have amenity goods in small containers so you can easily carry and travel. This is especially useful when you are traveling only with a carry-on bag. You can use them while staying in Japan, and also if you buy extra, you can save them for your next trip.
You can get stationaries anywhere, but they have various kinds and colors more than you would think. So take a look, there might be something interesting for you.
Who doesn’t like snacks? They have different kinds from savory to sweat, from healthy to high calorie. Also depending on the area or prefecture, some snacks differ in flavors. For example, in Kansai region, you can get special dashi-flavored chips of Calbee, which you cannot find in Kanto region.
It might look strange, or smell funny, but in Japan it is popular to snack dried squid especially when you drink alcohol. Surprisingly, it does go well. Bring home one of these and try with your friends or family!
This rice is in a special package so you can warm it up with microwave. Open the seal a bit and put it in microwave for about 2 mins, then you can enjoy perfectly cooked rice like you cooked with a rice cooker.
Ramen is popular food in Japan. Like other items, they have so many kinds of instant noodles at convenience store, not only ramen but udon and soba. If you do not know which one to get, find these instant noodles that are made by collaboration with famous ramen restaurants. The taste is pretty close to that they serve at the restaurants, so you can still enjoy their ramen even at home.
(Also be sure to check out ramen restaurants we recommend! https://www.whatodojapan.com/?p=1141 )
These items are from LAWSON (one of the most famous convenience stores in Japan), but any convenience store has similar items. You do not have to use google map to find the location since they are everywhere. If you see one when you’re walking, stop by and see what they have. You will be surprised their great range of selection!